If you are looking to buy a house in the ACT, Chamberlains can help guide you through the process. See our most frequently asked questions below:

Q: What is a conveyance?
A: A conveyance is the legal transfer of title from one person to another.

Q: I negotiated a 5% deposit. Why does the contract state 10%?
A: This is, by far, the most common question. It is common practice for the deposit to remain at 10% of the purchase price, but the seller agrees to accept only 5% at the exchange, with the remainder payable on settlement. If the buyer defaults or does not proceed with the purchase, they are still liable for the full 10% deposit. The contract is drafted to reflect this.

Q: I have made an offer. When do I pay the deposit?
A: You can pay the deposit at any time before exchange. The deposit is fully refundable until there has been a formal exchange of contracts.

Q: Who do I pay the deposit to?
A: You can pay the deposit to the real estate agent, or you can transfer the deposit into our trust account.

Q: I have not yet received finance approval. Should I come into see a solicitor?
A: Most definitely. It is essential to act promptly, but not feel rushed when buying property. You can meet with your solicitor to review the contract and hold off exchanging until finance is approved. This helps to ensure an efficient exchange, and also minimises the chance of the seller finding another buyer.

Q: What is an exchange?
A: An exchange of contracts is the process of binding both parties to the agreement. The contracts are signed in counterparts but are not ‘exchanged’ until the deposit is handed over to the stakeholder and the parties handover their respective signed contracts to the other. When this occurs, the contracts are dated and become legally binding on both the parties.

Q: Do I sign the contract at the appointment with the solicitor
A: This is entirely up to you. You are more than welcome to sign the contract; however, it will not be binding until there is a formal exchange of contracts. We do not exchange your contract unless instructed by you.

Q: What is a stakeholder?
A: The stakeholder is the entity who holds your deposit on trust until settlement. The seller is not authorised to use your deposit until the settlement has been completed.

Q: Do I need to attend the exchange or settlement?
A: No, we attend to these on your behalf.


Interested in learning more on Property Law?

Click our recent articles below to find out more:

ACT Stamp Duty Concession Update

Buying an Investment Property

The Release of Deposit Conundrum